Project Pig Skin

This might seem a bit weird, someone trying to lose weight making pork scratchings. Seriously they are full of fat and salt. They can’t be good for, what are you doing, go look at yourself.

Well, I did, and they didn’t stop me from loosing weight. I’m not eating carbs at the moment, (well I am eating a few, some veg, nuts, bit of fruit, small bit of chocolate) I’m not following any particular diet, I’ve read them all and it’s pretty obvious that cutting out bread, rice, pasta, potatoes will cut out a massive amount of calorie intake. But the only thing I notice missing is that savoury, salty crunch you get in anything from crisps to chips to even toast. The only thing I can find that come close and doesn’t have any carbs in it is pork scratchings.

I was in the supermarket last week and ended up buying three types of pork scratchings and some pork rind to make my own.

After trawling the internet I had a few ideas of how I was going to make them. Having two bits of rind I decided on baked and fried. I didn’t just want to make crackling,  I wanted some proper pork scratchings. The internet doesn’t have that many home made recipes for pork scratchings, which surprised me a bit.

First up…

Baked Pork Scratchings!!!

  • Pork rind
  • salt
  • paprika, or other flavourings (optional)
  • time

Everything I read pointed to needing to dry out that pork rind before you start cooking. Everyone has different timings. I just rubbed some sea salt on both sides of the pork rind, placed in the tin I would eventually cook them in and then banged it in the fridge. About every 12 hours I drained off the water, patted the rind down with paper towel, salted and whacked it back in the fridge. For no reason other than I couldn’t be arsed cooking them the first day I left the rind drying out for two days.

When it came to cooking the scratchings I took the dried out rind and cut it into rectangles. I probably left them a bit too big and I was too regimented. Scratchings in a packet are usually mental curly shapes, mine turned out a bit too consistent. I’m not sure if scoring on the underside would have curled them up a bit more. But maybe next time.

For the cooking, I salted the cut up rind and coated in paprika, smashed them in the pre-heated oven at about 180°C for about ten minutes and then turned the heat down to 140°C. Every half hour I checked on the little fuckers and drained the fat off. I must have cooked them for about three hours until I ended up with these bad boys…

Baked Scratchings

They tasted pretty fucking good. A little salty and a little hard but they had that nice crunch combined with the soft little bit of fat. Yeah, they tasted like pork scratchings.

Next up…

Fried Pork Scratchings!!!

  • Pork rind
  • salt
  • water
  • oil

Having two bits of pork rind I thought, fuck it, I’ll try two ways. These ones are like the more puffy pork scratchings you can buy that don’t usually have that risk factor of a big chunk of soft fat attached like the other type do.

For these ones people seem to boil the rind first, so that is what I did. Bang the rind in a salted pan of boiling water and simmer for an hour or two. Take it out of the water (for squeamish people, this will be pretty rank) and after it has cooled down a bit scrape all the fat off the underside. Now you have to dry it again. I cut the rind up, salted it and banged it back in the fridge for a day.

Heat up some oil (I used a wok) and throw the dried rind in. Now I did a couple of test bits and they didn’t puff up enough so I decided to try and dry them out more in the oven at the lowest temp for an hour. I got bored and just threw them all in the oil, when I put more than one bit in at a time they all puffed up. After draining I was left with these…

Fried scratchings

These weren’t as good (but to be fair I’m not as big of a fan of this type when you buy them in a shop anyway).

That was my adventure with pig skin. If I do it again, I’ll stick to the baked ones, but come on, they were a bit of a faff, yes, most of it was just waiting around, but that is still space in the fridge being used. The cost of the rind wasn’t too dissimilar to the price of a packet of pork scratchings and I don’t want to think about how much electricity I used cooking them.

I think I will leave this one to the pros.

About HystrixCristata

If you see the Tramp, FeeD the TramP View all posts by HystrixCristata

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